I'm definitely running the gamut of taxi rides on this trip.
Contrasting to yesterday's stinky, unpleasant ride, this morning's taxi ride was completely bearable, if not approaching enjoyable. When I requested the front desk call me a cab, I specifically stated I didn't want a smoking one. "No taxis are non-smoking in Boston," I was told.
Uh huh, right. And I'm still a virgin.
Just ask Kris.
Poor, poor Kris.
The driver that picked me up this morning was one of those prototypical friendly Boston taxi drivers. He immediately started talking, complimenting me on my directions to the conference center ("I'd like to go to the conference center, the new conference center, the new conference center on Summer Street, do you know where that is? I have a map if you don't."). I don't know if offering a map to a taxi driver is offensive or not, but I'd rather not be arguing with a taxi driver about my destination when a map will suffice.
The driver told me about various rides he had picked up, a nine year old that needed to be taken to school because her mom woke up too late, the German doctors who were angry he took them to the wrong place when he took them where they asked to go which wasn't where they wanted to go, stories like those.
At one point, he asked if he could smoke. When I said no, he laughed, oh, he was just joking, he doesn't smoke. As a matter of fact, he doesn't drink coffee, either. Of course, I didn't think to ask if he drinks alcohol, but he doesn't gamble either ("All I'm doing is giving them my money. Why would I want to do that?").
I wondered why he was driving taxis, as we drove over the various bridges, but didn't ask.
His girlfriend, who might have been his wife, I didn't ask about that either, called during the ride. He answered the phone, but waited until we were stopped at a stoplight before talking. The woman wanted him to pick her up and drive her to the hospital. Sure, he would, did she have a ride home afterward?
It made me continue to wonder about him. He seemed like a good guy, with only Cuban cigars as a vice ("Oh, they smell so good!"). He was willing to drive someone, without pay, during his shift, no less, losing income during the drive. Okay, so maybe he wasn't a good businessman. I'm not sure I'd want to drive someone somewhere, anywhere, if I drove for a living.
I tipped him well.